Piling specialist Roger Bullivant is to be bought by Soletanche Bachy — the parent company of geotechnical firm Bachy Soletanche — for an undisclosed sum.
Internal communications within the purchaser said that the sale had been agreed in principle and is expected to be complete early next month.
The geotechnical industry has struggled to emerge from the economic crisis and Bullivant’s previous strength in the housing sector meant it was hit hard by the recession.
Turnover and staff numbers have fallen dramatically over the last three years as a result.
Turnover was just £80M in 2010, according to figures supplied to NCE sister title Ground Engineering’s Geotechnical Services File. In 2009 it was £96M; in 2008 it was £113M.
Staff numbers were just 548 in 2010, down on 850 in 2009 and 1,172 in 2008.
NCE understands that Bachy and Bullivant will be run as separate Soletanche Bachy subsidiaries in the UK. A source close to the firms said the purchase was a good fit because “[Bullivant] is everything [Bachy] is not”.
Bullivant was established in 1971 and has an annual turnover of over £100M.